The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 20

Thinking against a disease. Other ways of mental healing. There is no escape from payment and from learning.

All things that are possible can be done by thinking. A thought is a being. Because it is issued from the light plane of the light world and is a sound, compelling elementals in the form world to give it form which will appear physically as an act, an object or an event, a thought can be a being of tremendous power. It has in it the driving power from the doer’s desire and perpetuity from the Light of the Intelligence, and with it the elemental forces of nature. Therefore, while disease and poverty may sometimes be banished by a method of thinking, it will be apparent that there must be an unwished-for reaction, unless the thinking is in accordance with the law of thought.

Even ordinary wishing demonstrates the power of thinking and some of its unexpected results. Simple wishing is often indulged in by a person who has no understanding of any precise method of thinking for a definite end. Although the things wished for sometimes come, they bring with them other things not wished for and these often make the position of the wisher worse than it would have been had he not gotten his wish. The things wished for seldom come in the way and under the circumstances he wished. The reason is that he could not see all the factors with which he was dealing when he wished, and that he could not see all the things which were connected with the object of his wish. This is so because the wisher cannot see mentally the things which are attached to and which follow the thing wished for. He is like one who reaches for a scarf hanging from a shelf, takes hold and pulls and so gets the scarf, but with it fall on his head things which had been placed upon the scarf. A wisher does not know the forces he sets in operation by his wish. He thinks only of the thing he wishes and of getting it and not of the means by which it is to come. If he intends to provide for means and contingencies by encompassing many things in his wish, he will make the results worse. For the more he tries to prevent untoward surprises, the more he interferes with the regulation of the universe. He is wishing in the dark and will encounter what he did not expect. However, wishing with its results is an instance of the power of thinking.

There are right ways and wrong ways for the cure of disease by mental means. The wrong ways have selfishness and mental blindness or deceit in their signatures. The thinkers proceed from false assertions and false denials. They assert things to be what they are not and deny that things are as they are. Thereby they try to think concerning facts what is untrue of them. They try to think that that which is real is unreal, and that which is unreal is real. They try to think that a jumping toothache is not real and that there is no such thing as a jumping toothache, that there is no pain in a sprained ankle, that gallstone colic does not mean pain, that a diseased body is well and that generally there is no such thing as disease. Yet they believe that all disease, though non-existent, can be cured by mental means. They believe that they can make disease disappear by thinking it away.

Indeed it is true that disease can sometimes be made to disappear by thinking and under the power of a thought. No matter how much a thought may be contrary to an existing state of facts it can sometimes make the facts disappear.

The thought that there is no disease, no pain, no disorder, but only health, well-being and comfort where disease actually is, will stamp an impression on the breath-form. This way of thinking would directly efface the previous impressions. It thinks directly at them. It seeks the disease impressions out and attacks them. The mental healer is ignorant of the many limitations of his thinking, and interferes with the natural course of events. Sometimes the impression which is made on the breath-form by the thought of the mental healer is strong enough to compel the elementals to build themselves out according to the new impression that there is no disease, pain or disorder, and the mental healer succeeds in making his “cure.”

Another wrong way of curing diseases by mental means is to will that disease away. These healers are not as blind to the facts as the first kind, inasmuch as they recognize the disease as a fact.

There are still other ways of mental healing, such as those which demand and those which hold a thought of a cure. Any of these methods may be equally effective in curing certain cases. There are, however, limits. In some cases no cure can be effected. In some improvement lasts only a short time. In some the cure is permanent during the present life. It all depends on whether the law of thought permits. In no case is a real cure effected.

Their own thinking is the active force used by those who cure themselves by mental means. Yet this is as little clear to them as is the process by which they achieve whatever success they may have.

The school of thought to which they belong provides them with a set of ready-to-use thoughts according to which they think. They are usually told not to do their curing in any other way than under the thoughts with which they are furnished. Such thoughts are: that they must pray to or demand of God, Universal Mind, or Divine Mind, to remove the disease; that they are part of God and exert his universal power; that God is good and all-powerful and his goodness allows no place for disease.

Attempts to heal by mental means as practiced by various cults, are wrong because the thinking necessary to bring about the desired results is morally wrong. The thinking involves self-deception, either in denying the existence of what exists or in affirming the existence of what does not exist, and in demanding as one’s own what is not his. In his thinking the operator seeks to see health where there is disease and which disease he denies. This is quite evident in the case of some, but less so in the case of other cultists who recognize facts as facts but “hold a thought” that the facts are to be removed by some supernal power because of their demand. This requires the deceiving of themselves in so far as they see and demand as their own what is not theirs. The wrong lies in the self-deception. They blind themselves to what rightness would show them. The wrong is intrinsic and runs through and vitiates all these methods of mental healing, by whatever name they are called.

While it is bad for one to deceive himself intentionally until he actually believes the false to be true, it is worse to treat another by such means. For thereby he teaches the other the practice of self-deception; he interferes with and disorganizes the thinking of the other; teaches him to shut out the Light of the Intelligence and causes him to suffer from the results of the self-deception. He attempts to treat with the delicate and dangerous powers of the doer, of which he knows nothing. He is in the position of a surgeon who would pick up instruments unsuited to the occasion, and attempt to perform an operation of which he knows nothing upon a body which he cannot see.

Disease and want are among the chief means of learning from experience. Mental healers make themselves see and think contrarily to what they have learned during lives. They stifle the flame in the heart, shut out the Light of Intelligence from rightness, and shut out self-knowledge. They postpone their acquiring that knowledge and they work against the development that will end in the perfecting of their physical bodies and in becoming united with their Triune Selves. There are few greater calamities for a doer than such setbacks.